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Book Spotlight: How to Hear Ghosts by David Griffiths

YA Gothic fiction exploring coming-of-age themes and adolescent male anxieties

By Marie SinadjanPublished 22 days ago 3 min read

In the wake of his mother’s death, 16-year-old Ollie is thrust into the world of his uncle, Dominic Quinn, a renowned stage medium. Communing with the dead runs in Ollie’s family – or so he believes. But as he starts to hear voices in his head, he must confront the possibility that they are no more than a spiral into hereditary madness.

Haunted by the mysterious letter that plagued his mum’s final days, Ollie embarks on a quest for answers. With the help of one of his uncle’s mysterious books and the support of his classmate, Hannah, Ollie delves into the secrets surrounding his mother’s past.

But as he navigates the blurred line between reality and the paranormal, he must face a daunting question: will it make him famous like his uncle, or dead like his mother? In this gripping young adult novel, Ollie discovers that sometimes, the most terrifying ghosts are the ones we carry inside.

GENRE: Young Adult Gothic Fiction


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: For many years David Griffiths has taught a variety of subjects (including English, Psychology, History and Sociology) in Further Education colleges in East Yorkshire - the inspiration for the setting for his book. More recently he has taught English and Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. David completed How to Hear Ghosts as part of a PhD in Creative Writing while attending Manchester Met University as a student. Born in Stoke-on- Trent, he now lives in Formby, Liverpool.

First Impressions

This book is marketed as "set in a Yorkshire town, against a backdrop of the endlessly fascinating world of spiritualism and paranormal" and "exploring coming-of-age themes and adolescent male anxieties" — and it delivers that in the first few chapters. I've been struggling health-wise the past week so I've been a little behind on my reading, but I can already say I recommend this!

The story opens with a funeral, which fits the vibe. But more importantly, it kicks off with a mystery: the mother of our protagonist, Ollie, has died, but she left behind some kind of cursed letter that she wants him to find. He knows this because he can hear her persistently asking him about it. Yet nobody believes him. That, or nobody wants him to find the letter. And so the plot thickens...

It's written in first person past, which I'm enjoying. First person really lets me get into the head of the protagonist, and considering the theme, that is essential for us readers to understand Ollie's plight better, I think.

Full review coming in a few days!


Hi! I'm Marie, a Filipino SFFH author and book reviewer currently based in the UK. I’m the co-author of The Prophecies of Ragnarok, a Norse myth new adult urban fantasy trilogy, and I also have several short stories published in anthologies and literary journals.

You can find more info about me and my books, and also subscribe to my newsletter for more content, here. And if you like what I do, please also consider supporting me on Ko-fi! 🩷

If you fancy a short read, I have a cozy reimagining of the Norse myths about Hel, but it's just under 70 pages and can be read in one sitting. ✨ Plus there's a swag kit coming soon! Includes a "membership card," a bookmark, a sticker, an origami dog, and an exclusive 500-word story 🫶🏼

All things end, and all must die.

But death is not always the end.

When Geiravor Lokisdottir was stripped of her name and cast out of Asgard, torn from her family and the life she had known, she thought she’d lost it all. But in the shadows of Niflheim she discovers the path to her destiny, and what it truly means to be queen.

This is a prequel short story to THE PROPHECIES OF RAGNAROK trilogy by Meri Benson and Marie Sinadjan, and a retelling of the myths involving Hel, the Norse goddess of death and the queen of the underworld.


About the Creator

Marie Sinadjan

Filipino spec fic author and book reviewer based in the UK. •

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